Thursday, June 15, 2017

That Phone Call

Herself speaks.

My phone rang this morning, and I was momentarily occupied so let it go to voicemail. When I checked later, it was a message from an unfamiliar phone number:

I am calling about the results of your mammogram. Please return my call at....

Alas. When everything is fine, they leave a message: Your results are normal.

I called back, and although I did not get many details from the physician's assistant, the short of the matter is that I have doctor's orders for a "diagnostic mammogram" (as opposed to a regular screening mammogram), as well as for an ultrasound.

I like to think that the odds are in my favor. I nursed the Offspring, cumulatively, for five years; that has to lower my risk of breast cancer. With the exception of a rare occasion here and there, I don't drink alcohol, and thus have lowered my risk again. I was a late bloomer, and perhaps that swings in my favor as well.

The physician's assistant did mention that the issue was that there are small calcifications in both breasts this year, that were not there last year. She did not provide enough detail to me about whether they are macro- or micro- calcifications. Many calcifications are benign. Some are not. Odds of the calcifications being this or that depend on their size, and clustering, and such.  I'll read the radiology report once it is available to me.

I try to derive comfort from the fact that both sides are involved -- it's quite rare that spontaneous breast cancer pops up bilaterally. (This does not, of course, exclude the possibility that one side is perfectly benign, and the other less so.) We shall see.

I find it hard to believe that there is something *wrong*.  Sometimes, I know that something will be a certain way -- for example, I had a gut feeling that Offspring the Third would be a cesarean birth long before I hit the ninth month of pregnancy -- but I do not have any such specific feeling here. Yet. Perhaps the possibilities are too difficult to imagine right now.

I will say this: as tricky as it has been sometimes to be an amply endowed woman, I cannot imagine myself any other way.

I will not be afraid, until it is time to do so.

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